Gravedigger

Gravedigger Charles Westover a disbarred lawyer alleges that his runaway teenage daughter has been murdered and he files an insurance claim And then he disappears leaving claims investigator Dave Brandstetter

  • Title: Gravedigger
  • Author: Joseph Hansen
  • ISBN: 9780030560637
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Charles Westover, a disbarred lawyer, alleges that his runaway teenage daughter has been murdered and he files an insurance claim And then he disappears, leaving claims investigator, Dave Brandstetter to sort through the pieces of the puzzle Young women have been murdered by the crazed guru of a bizarre sex cult is this what happened to Serenity Westover Brandstetter Charles Westover, a disbarred lawyer, alleges that his runaway teenage daughter has been murdered and he files an insurance claim And then he disappears, leaving claims investigator, Dave Brandstetter to sort through the pieces of the puzzle Young women have been murdered by the crazed guru of a bizarre sex cult is this what happened to Serenity Westover Brandstetter s investigation, set against vivid Californian backgrounds of expensive seaside suburbs and snowy mountain camps, desert towns and wilderness canyons, takes him on a quest of mounting tensions and ultimate horror Never has he needed his renowned shrewdness and compassion And never has he faced so close a brush with a grisly death.

    One thought on “Gravedigger”

    1. This sixth book in the Dave Brandstetter series is the best yet. The gay milieu and Southern Califorinia atmosphere is superb as usual, but this time, instead hiding the solution of his mystery underneath a myriad of red herrings, Hansen constructs a denouement at once so surprising and so persuasive that the reader--this reader at least--is thoroughly satisfied.

    2. The more I read of Hansen, the happier I get with him. I love his style, he comes in tells you a story and bows out, no frills but a whammer of a punch. This series keeps getting better for me as I read on either because it really does or because I need my Hansen fix from time to time and I end up with serious cravings.Whilst telling this story Hansen parallels it with what’s happening in Dave’s personal life, like seeing your future in your neighbour’s story or vice versa. I got so intere [...]

    3. First published in 1982, this is the sixth entry in Joseph Hansen's series featuring Dave Brandstetter, the first openly gay detective to inhabit the world originally occupied by Philip Marlowe and other such giants of the P.I. genre.Dave is now working for the Banner Insurance Company. A young woman named Serenity Westover has been missing for a couple of years, after falling under the spell of a nutcase named Azrael, who is something of a mash-up of Jim Jones and Charles Manson. The cops have [...]

    4. 4,5 stars.Gravedigger is the sixth book in the Dave Brandstetter series and I think I can talk about a common schema of the Dave Brandsttetter mystery: *At the beginning our insurance investigator appears at the door/porch of a person who filed an insurance claim. * Something doesn't fit, it is why his insurance company is nervous, and it is why the best man has to clear the situation. He asks questions. He lets his clients know that something in this death case wasn't quite kosher. * He investi [...]

    5. I feel a little bit like a broken record with Hansen. I've grown to love his style, the descriptiveness, the sound of his prose. Most of it I do read semi-aloud (I whisper), unlike a lot of other stuff I read lately. It takes more time: it's worth taking time over.I love the way Brandstetter has a life, has family, has people that we care about. I love that Doug doesn't slip right into obscurity because they've broken up: he is there, in the background. I love that the relationships Dave forms - [...]

    6. I am a fan of the Dave Brandstetter series, and this is probably the fourth book in the series I've read. Brandstetter is gay and works as death-clams investigator for an insurance company. The setting for the series is Southern California in the early 1980s. In this book the plot is set into motion when a disbarred lawyer, desperate for money, files a life insurance claim and then vanishes before it is collected. There is a Charles Manson-like aspect to the story. Also, Brandstetter has a young [...]

    7. Joseph Hansen writes with brevity and beauty. His words paint pictures in the reader's mind yet he is not verbose. His stories are packed with characters and details yet they are compact. Not like mysteries are written today. This book was no exception. The plot was terse and tense. The story held my interest. His MC is strong, smart, a puzzle solver and gay. Not the usual mystery hero of the 70's & 80's . I liked that Doug was not really a part of this book. I like Cecil but doubt he and Da [...]

    8. I happened upon this book this weekend at a used bookstore in Vancouver. Used books are so damned expensive there--this one was only three bucks! I liked the cheesy early-80s mass market cover and it had a nice snippet review from the New York Times Book Review on the back. Overall, it was a good read. The description on the back of the book makes no mention of it, so I was shocked and fascinated to discover that the protagonist Dave Brunstetter is an openly gay insurance claims investigator. As [...]

    9. Another outing with insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter. He's a man who investigates death claims, in pursuit of truth, and usually of murder. The series is well written, based in the 1970s and on in the LA area, and the atmosphere, and writing, along with the MC, are part of their appeal.I've been binge reading this series, so I won't leave a detailed review. But I enjoyed them all, and was pulled along to the end, watching Dave age, and change, and grow, and yet remain essentially the sam [...]

    10. One of the many things i love about this series is how the reader shares Dave's moods, and for this reason, this is probably my favorite in the series so far. I love Dave's and Cecil's relationship and how it sets the pace - there's an almost bubbling excitement running through this book (all being relative).

    11. 5.0 of 5 stars – Best One Yet In This Series.I love gay mysteries and romances, and this has been one of the best series combining both, and in the process rightfully became for Joseph Hansen a classic in gay literature. This sixth in the series was the best so far and continued to build the story.I liked this for the same reasons I liked each in the series. First off, for those interested, it worked well as a standalone, with its own self-contained mystery, while also further developing the c [...]

    12. In this 6th book in the Brandstetter mysteries, we find Dave investigating the possible murder/disappearance of a young woman who was involved in a cult. Serenity Westover was a troubled young woman who disappeared 2 years ago and who sent a letter to her father with a picture of her new life. That life was to be another member of a cult whose leader, a demented man had killed and buried 6 women, 3 had been identified and the other 3 haven't. The father, who happens to be a disbarred lawyer who [...]

    13. This one feels similar to Skinflick to me in that it gives us relatively little opportunity to guess the murderer and ends quite action-y and for my taste a little over the top. I prefer the earlier books which work better as whodunnits, but on the other hand, I love Dave Brandstetter and Hansen's writing so much that this is still worth 5 stars. Hansen has just such a great way with words, the way he does descriptions of scenery and characters. We also get quite a lot about Dave's private live [...]

    14. Solid contemporary noir novel. Joseph Hansen delivers an action packed plot with a solid character development. Dave Brandsetter's entourage is still alive and thriving. From is very young widowed mother in law to his young lover, to ex-lovers, Brandsetter's death claim investigations are never set in a vacuum. Which is why Hansen's novels are so good and make you want more. The Brandsetter's universe is a close canon, I'm half way through the corpus. I'm taking my time to go through the whole s [...]

    15. I first read this book about twenty years ago. I think one of my nieces left it at my house and even though I have moved twice since then it moved with me! I did not remember any of the story. In fact the only thing I had remembered was that the main character was an insurance investigator who happened to be gay. This was an exciting read and has certainly motivated me to seek out the other books in the series.

    16. Another good one! Hansen does a good job keeping the mysteries fresh and interesting and different—no copy/paste/change the settings and names.And (view spoiler)[Cecil (hide spoiler)] is back! That's fun!I will note that this one ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. >.< Thankfully I had the next book and was able to run downstairs in the dark at 12:30 in the morning to get it and read the first few pages. Be warned!(4.5 stars)

    17. I remember reading this book when it was first published in the 80's as a gay is his 30's. This author and this series meant a great deal to me because it gave me a positive gay hero in popular culture. I am currently rereading these books and they have held up to popular tastes and sensibilities. This book is great.

    18. Reading through this series, I'm discovering some patterns. Dave loves seeking trouble without backup, inevitably leading to him getting bruised up. He eats lots of scrambled eggs and gets to make lots of whopee in between interrogating shady characters. He has a high tolerance for stress and a great physique for an old guy (climbing out of hospital windows and what not). Not a bad routine.

    19. As always, the setting is probably my favorite part of these books. Hansen really gets the feel of nostalgic California towns and attitudes, and this books takes up right where the Manson murders left off. I didn't really care too much for the ending-- it was a little bleaker than these books usually are, but I guess that kinds goes with the territory of the subject matter.

    20. One of the many things i love about this series is how the reader shares Dave's moods, and for this reason, this is probably my favorite in the series so far. I love Dave's and Cecil's relationship and how it sets the pace - there's an almost bubbling excitement running through this book (all being relative).

    21. great mystery, and great romance (Dave really falls in love again, he is reunited with the object of his affection, Cecil, a young journalist)

    22. Another "David Branstetter Mystery." Gay private detective solves insurance scam mystery. Good tale, but not my cup of tea.

    23. 2.5 stars. Personally didn't like parallels drawn between Dave's personal life and the case on this one. The case had such a slow build I was lulled.

    24. Okay mystery, although I solved it long before Dave did. I mostly enjoyed the character developments in this one.

    25. Definitely one of those books which should be read in sequence with the rest of the series. However, it's still a decent book.

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